December 16, 2010
Top off the holiday season with kids’ craft activities and three family movies that will air on the big screen of the Norman L. Fagan West Virginia State Theater at the Culture Center, State Capitol, in Charleston on Monday, Dec. 27, Tuesday, Dec. 28, and Wednesday, Dec. 29. Each day will feature a different film and they will be shown twice, at noon and 3:30 p.m. In addition, from 1 - 4 p.m., each day, the Museum guest services staff will have winter-themed craft activities available for young visitors. The family films and craft activities are free and the public is invited to attend.
A Christmas Carol (2009, 96 minutes, Rated PG) will be shown on Monday. Jim Carrey plays four separate characters in this updated, animated retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic novel about a Victorian-era miser. The old skinflint is taken of a journey of self-redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions. The film critic Roger Ebert says “Disney’s A Christmas Carol by Richard Zemeckis is an exhilarating visual experience.” The film also stars Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Bob Hoskins and Robin Wright Penn.
On Tuesday, visitors can see How to Train Your Dragon (2010, 98 minutes, Rated PG). This animated fantasy adventure by DreamWorks Animation tells the story of a hapless young Viking from Berk named Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, heir of the Viking chieftain Stoick, who aspires to hunt dragons though his macho father will not allow it. Hiccup ventures out nevertheless and downs a mysterious Night Fury dragon, but can’t bring himself to kill it. Hiccup and the dragon, called Toothless, begin an unlikely friendship, in which both of them find they must fight the destructive ignorance in their respective cultures that plagues the world.
Toy Story 3 (2010, 103 minutes, Rated G) will be screened on Wednesday. This computer animated film continues the story of Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack), Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles) the aliens, and the rest of Andy’s toys who have remained completely devoted to Andy (John Morris) even as he’s getting ready to pack up and leave for college. The toys all end up at the Sunnyside Daycare where untamed tots with sticky little fingers do not play nice. So its all for one and one for all as they join Barbie’s counterpart Ken (Michael Keaton), a thespian hedgehog named Mr. Pricklepants and a pink, strawberry-scented teddy bear called Lots-o’-Huggin Bear to plan their great escape. This Disney/Pixar film provides great family entertainment.
Visitors also can tour the West Virginia State Museum and view the many exhibits on display in the Culture Center. Cherished Playthings of the Past has a selection of objects from the museum’s collection including skis and poles, a cabbage patch doll, assorted musical instruments, Civil War toy soldiers, sleds, tennis and badminton rackets and a video showing holiday celebrations from the past including several bands performing for Joyful Night, the state’s official tree-lighting ceremony.
Celebrating the West Virginia National Guard: Service to Our Country . . . Service to Our State in the Lobby Gallery pays tribute to the oldest unit in the United States Army with continuous active service since Feb. 17, 1735. The exhibit has a gallery of photographs of Adjutant Generals, a table commemorating fallen heroes, several guidons (flags or standards), headgear, World War II-era gas masks and much more.
The West Virginia State Archives has an exhibit, Sowing the Wind: John Brown at Harpers Ferry, which includes text panels with information on his early life, recruiting techniques for the raid, information on the trial and hanging, and pictures of artifacts. There are also many photographs from the collection of the West Virginia State Archives, many from the 1960 presidential primary that pitted Sen. John F. Kennedy against Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey.
In addition, the Great Hall is filled with holiday decorations including wreaths, four trees with ornaments made by school children and a Victorian parlor setting.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.